Theatre and London are like fish and chips, best enjoyed together, so whenever we hear about new home grown theatre productions, we are always first in line to get tickets. This week the Wyndhams Theatre has brought Barking in Essex to the West End mix and has shone the spotlight on a very different kind of London story.
We’re not going to lie to you, it’s not going to be everyone’s taste, but it was the unexpected and somewhat over-the-top lines, language (be prepared for colourful language) and plot developments that had the audience laughing the loudest the night we went.
If you don’t know the stereotypes of the Essex crowd, you will soon get the idea and the jokes won’t be lost on you. Lee Evans is adorably awkward and Sheila Hancock is superb (although her character is somewhat disturbing) – actually the whole cast is fantastic.
The show introduces us to the dysfunctional Packer family, the ladies of which have been living it up for the past seven years, spending the £3.5 million younger son Algie has been serving time for stealing. The play starts on the night Algie is released from jail and the news that he is coming home to collect his money. Emmie, Darnley & Chrissie decide to go on the run, but of course nothing’s that easy for the Packer family!
Barking in Essex is a high energy and over-the-top (in a good way) comedy that will be different to anything else you might be seeing in the West End. Tickets are on sale until January 2014 and the Wyndham theatre is located almost opposite Leicester Square tube station.